The daughter of Jeftah died?

David Stabnow dstabno at
Mon Sep 30 13:32:53 EDT 2002

Dave Washburn wrote: "We might compare this rash oath of his with that of
Saul when he forbade his army to eat or drink.  The interesting contrast is
that Saul relented, both when he saw that it was a foolish vow and when he
saw that it would cost Jonathan's life, and AFAIK he is never called on the
carpet for backing away from the oath."

I can't think of any way that Saul was directly punished for going back on
his oath -- that is, there is no punishment of Saul with a comment from a
prophet or from the narrator that says that the punishment is on account of
releasing Jonathan from the oath.  But if the book of Samuel is about the
contrast between Saul and David, it is interesting to note that the people
appreciated David's integrity in contrast to Saul's instability (2 Sam
3:35-36; contrast 1 Sm 28:23), and God rewarded David's "house" in place of
Saul's (1 Sam 15:28; 2 Sam 3:1).

A couple of examples: David made an oath to Jonathan (1 Sam 20:14-17,42;
see also 24:21-22) and honored it with regard to Mephibosheth (2 Sam
9:1-13) and the burial of Jonathan's (and Saul's) bones (2 Sam 21:1-14).
David kept promises to Shimei (2 Sam 19:23) and Joab (1 Chron 11:6), and
honored Saul as "the Lord's anointed," despite the disadvantages of such
integrity.  Saul, on the other hand, eradicated sorcery but then sought out
a sorcerer when God would no longer hear his prayers for guidance (1 Sm

Dave Stabnow
Bible Translation Editor
Broadman & Holman Publishers
Nashville, Tennessee
david.stabnow at

    Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do,
do everything for God's glory.  (1 Cor 10:31, HCSB)

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